UNIT 3.21 Isolation of Mouse Intrahepatic Lymphocytes

  1. I. Nicholas Crispe

Published Online: 1 MAY 2001

DOI: 10.1002/0471142735.im0321s22

Current Protocols in Immunology

Current Protocols in Immunology

How to Cite

Crispe, I. N. 2001. Isolation of Mouse Intrahepatic Lymphocytes. Current Protocols in Immunology. 22:IV:3.21:3.21.1–3.21.8.

Author Information

  1. Yale University Medical School, New Haven, Connecticut

Publication History

  1. Published Online: 1 MAY 2001
  2. Published Print: JUN 1997


The liver is a distinctive immunological environment in which are found a wide variety of cell types. The absolute number of intrahepatic lymphocytes (IHL) and the frequency of the various components of the cell mixture in the liver are influenced by the age and strain of the mouse, as well as by the presence of hormones, cytokines, and pathogens. The bulk of the liver consists of hepatocytes. In addition to IHL, the liver also contains a macrophage population, the Kupffer cells, and sinusoidal endothelial cells. The protocols described here can be used to deplete the liver tissue of hepatocytes, endothelial cells, and red blood cells, leaving a cell suspension consisting mainly of IHL in which the major contaminant is Kupffer cells (which can be removed by adherence to plastic). This unit provides two protocols that may be used to isolate IHL. One can be used to isolate IHL from multiple livers in parallel, whereas the more elaborate alternate protocol yields more cells per liver but is more appropriately used to recover the IHL from a single liver.